The Ukrainian Foreign Minister has sharply criticized the government’s Ukraine policy. This also means that the demands for further arms deliveries to the country are becoming louder. Meanwhile, 18 politicians in Russia are calling for Vladimir Putin’s resignation. All voices and developments on the Ukraine war in the ticker here.

1:17 p.m .: According to the army, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj visited the city of Izyum in the east of the country, which was recently recaptured by the Ukrainian army, on Wednesday. Zelenskyy took part in a ceremony to raise the Ukrainian flag in the city together with military representatives, the Ukrainian military said in online networks.

Izyum is one of the largest cities recaptured from Russian troops during the current Ukraine counter-offensive. Zelenskyy’s office released pictures of the Ukrainian president, in which he, wearing an olive green jacket, posed for photos with soldiers and shook hands on the sidelines of the ceremony in Izyum.

9:27 a.m .: To relieve consumers, excessive profits from energy companies in the EU are to be skimmed off and redistributed in the future. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wednesday in the Strasbourg European Parliament a proposed law against high energy prices, which would affect both producers of renewable electricity and gas and oil companies. “Our proposal will bring more than 140 billion euros for the member states to cushion the emergency immediately,” said von der Leyen.

Surf tip: FDP is against it – excess profit tax or war tax: Simply explained

9:26 a.m .: To support Ukraine, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wants to travel again to the country attacked by Russia. She will travel to Kyiv this Wednesday for talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskyj, the German politician said on Wednesday in the Strasbourg European Parliament. Work must be done to ensure that Ukraine has access to the European internal market and vice versa.

“Our single market is one of Europe’s greatest success stories. Now it’s time to make it a success story for our Ukrainian friends as well,” said von der Leyen.

It would be von der Leyen’s third trip to Ukraine since Russia attacked the country on February 24. In April she visited the Kiev suburb of Bucha, where war crimes had recently come to light. In June, she spoke to Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv about outstanding issues in Ukraine’s EU application. In the meantime, the 27 EU states have granted Ukraine the status of an EU candidate.

4:34 a.m .: According to US intelligence services, Russia has covertly supported political parties and candidates abroad with hundreds of millions of euros. According to an intelligence report published on Tuesday, at least $300 million has been transferred from Moscow to more than two dozen countries since 2014 in order to influence national politics there. The sum mentioned is probably just “the tip of the iceberg,” a senior US government official told the AFP news agency.

Russia probably “secretly transferred more money that was not discovered,” said the government representative. The report does not contain any information on which countries the donations from Russia are said to have gone to. Among other things, the Russian ambassador is said to have made several million dollars available to a presidential candidate in an unspecified Asian country.

A source familiar with the report’s findings also said that Russia spent about half a million dollars supporting Albania’s centre-right Democratic Party in the 2017 elections. Accordingly, parties or candidates in Bosnia, Montenegro and Madagascar are said to have been financed.

According to the source, Russia has used the Belgian capital and EU headquarters, Brussels, as a hub for foundations supporting far-right candidates. The country is also accused of sending large amounts of money to the Russian embassy in Ecuador from 2014 to 2017 – apparently with the aim of influencing elections.

The administration of US President Joe Biden had requested the report on Russian influence on the policies of other countries after Russia began invading Ukraine on February 24. A US government official said it was part of Biden’s “democracy summit,” which he launched shortly after his election victory over his predecessor Donald Trump.

The report does not deal with the situation in the USA. US intelligence services had previously accused Moscow of intervening in the 2016 US presidential election in favor of the eventual winner, Donald Trump.

3:22 a.m .: In the dispute over tank deliveries to Ukraine, the Kiel security expert Prof. Joachim Krause described the position of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and his party as absurd. The SPD has isolated itself, Krause told the Kölnische Rundschau (Wednesday edition). It is puzzling to him “why the delivery of former Soviet tanks by Poland is justifiable, the delivery of old Marder armored personnel carriers or old Leopard 1 tanks from Germany is supposed to trigger a world war”.

Krause, who heads the Institute for Security Policy at the University of Kiel, continued: “If we had delivered Marder armored personnel carriers or the 90 Leopard 1s that we have lying around and that the Bundeswehr no longer needs, then Ukraine would have had many more offensive operations could carry out, and many Ukrainian soldiers should not have died.”

Regarding the course of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Krause said: “A president who does not even dare to order a general mobilization will not trigger a nuclear war.” Through his lack of understanding, Putin is driving “his military and the whole country against the wall”. According to Krause, this should be seen as an opportunity, not a danger: “It cannot go well for Putin, for Russia and its armed forces, which are so thin that even responsible Russian military personnel can no longer accept it.” A military coup against the Kremlin chief is conceivable, but one cannot predict such a thing.

Wednesday, September 14, 12:30 a.m.: In the discussion about the delivery of tanks to Ukraine, CDU leader Friedrich Merz accuses the federal government of unnecessary hesitation. Merz said on Tuesday evening on the ZDF program “Markus Lanz” that he would have issued export permits for Marder-type armored personnel carriers that are in the yards of industry and are not used by the Bundeswehr. On this point he agrees with the FDP and the Greens. Together you would also have a majority in the Bundestag for this, noted the Union faction leader.

The Russian war against Ukraine has now lasted almost seven months, stressed Merz. Ukraine is surprisingly well positioned to defend itself. “But we could have done more.” That was also the opinion of many Europeans who were waiting for a decision from Germany.

11:33 p.m .: After the recapture of areas in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian authorities said they found evidence of alleged crimes by the Russian occupying power. Senior Ukrainian police officer Serhiy Bolvinov from the city of Balakliya reported that the invaders had maintained a torture prison at the local police station. Around 40 people were always locked up in the basement during the occupation, which lasted several months.

“The occupiers took away those who served in the military or had relatives there, and also looked for those who helped the army,” the head of the investigative department at the Kharkiv police force wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. According to witnesses, prisoners were tortured with electric shocks.

From other places in the region there are still unverified reports about the finding of murdered people. After the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Kyiv area in the spring, hundreds of dead civilians were discovered there. Despite overwhelming evidence, Moscow denied that Russian soldiers were responsible for the killings and spoke of a Ukrainian staging.

6:24 p.m .: For the first time in many weeks, Chancellor Olaf Scholz called Russian President Vladimir Putin again. In the 90-minute conversation on Tuesday, Scholz insisted that a diplomatic solution to the Russian war in Ukraine be found as soon as possible, based on a ceasefire, a complete withdrawal of Russian troops and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country Ukraine is based, said government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit.

2:33 p.m .: The Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has verbally attacked Germany’s Ukraine policy with his demands for the delivery of heavy tanks. There are “disappointing signals from Germany”, although Ukraine urgently needs Leopard and Marder tanks. According to Kuleba, it is about “freeing people and protecting them from genocide”.

The foreign minister is disappointed by the federal government: “There is no rational argument as to why these weapons cannot be delivered. Just abstract fears and excuses. What is Berlin afraid of that Kyiv is not afraid of?”

Despite urgent Ukrainian requests for the delivery of armored vehicles, the German government has so far remained reluctant to do so. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (both SPD) warned again on Monday against Germans going it alone. Lambrecht pointed out that no other country had yet delivered Western-style armored personnel carriers or main battle tanks to Ukraine. Kuleba made similar demands during Foreign Minister Baerbock’s trip to Kyiv over the weekend.

12:31 p.m .: The US embassy in Berlin has encouraged Germany and other allies to provide “as much support as possible” with military aid to Ukraine. “We appreciate Germany’s military support for Ukraine and will continue to coordinate closely with Berlin. The policy of the United States has not changed,” the mission wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, also referring to statements by Ambassador Amy Gutmann.

It remained unclear whether and which agreements apply to the publicly discussed delivery of Western battle tanks demanded by Ukraine. The embassy wrote in support of Ukraine: “The decision on the type of aid ultimately lies with each country itself.”

The message also contradicts Olaf Scholz. The Chancellor has so far refused to supply the Ukrainians with the tanks they have requested. His justification: Germany will not go it alone.

6:15 a.m .: Russian local politicians call on President Vladimir Putin to resign. This is reported by the Russian news portal “The Insider” with reference to a statement by a total of 18 politicians from Moscow and St. Petersburg. The statement said: “We think that the actions of President Vladimir Putin harm the future of Russia. We demand the resignation of Vladimir Putin from the post of President of the Russian Federation!”

At the beginning of his reign, Putin made “good reforms,” ​​it said. “But then everything went wrong.” Putin’s rhetoric was decomposed by intolerance and aggression. Russia is “feared and hated”. According to the signers of the declaration, Putin’s leadership concept is “hopelessly outdated”.

People’s representatives from St. Petersburg even go a step further. Putin is the only threat to Russia’s security – and not Ukraine. “We ask you,” the politicians write to parliament, “to initiate an indictment of treason [against Putin] and remove him from office.”

But first, the initiators are being investigated. Police are prosecuting five of St Petersburg’s politicians for “discrediting the incumbent government”.

Tuesday, September 13, 2:56 a.m.: Green Party politician Anton Hofreiter has called for the rapid delivery of German Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine. “Sooner or later we will not be able to avoid supplying Ukraine with modern, western battle tanks,” he told the Bayern media group. Russia has largely destroyed the Ukrainian arms industry. At the same time, the old Soviet tanks offered poor protection against Russian attacks. “I think we should deliver Leopard main battle tanks as soon as possible to prevent Ukrainian soldiers from dying unnecessarily.”

Green leader Omid Nouripour said on Monday evening in the ARD “Tagesthemen” to a corresponding question: “The topic is not primarily about individual weapon systems. Yes, they can be armored personnel carriers, they can be main battle tanks. But the issue is how, in alliance with the others, we can give Ukraine what it needs as quickly as possible.”

11.30 p.m .: After Russian rocket hits on the power supply in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyj calls for faster delivery of anti-aircraft weapons. The aid of international partners for Ukraine must be increased, he said on Monday in his video address every evening. “Together we can overcome Russian terror.”

Russian rocket hits on a power plant near Kharkiv temporarily paralyzed large parts of the power grid in eastern Ukraine on Sunday evening. “Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians found themselves in the dark – without electricity. Houses, hospitals, schools, communal infrastructure,” Zelenskyy said. “Russian missiles hit exactly those objects that have absolutely nothing to do with the infrastructure of our country’s armed forces.” He interpreted the shelling as revenge for the advance of the Ukrainian army in the Kharkiv region.

12:41 p.m .: According to his statement about tank deliveries to Ukraine, SPD General Kevin Kühnert’s Twitter account can no longer be reached. If you try to call up Kühnert’s profile, you’ll get an error message.

10:22 a.m .: Andriy Melnyk sharply criticized Kevin Kühnert’s statements that one should not provoke Russia with arms deliveries. “This catastrophic policy of refusal by the SPD and the traffic light to abandon Ukraine militarily at this critical moment will have devastating consequences for the future. My goodness Kevin Kühnert,” Melnyk tweeted on Monday.

9.35 a.m .: SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert has dampened expectations of German tank deliveries to Ukraine. “Western tanks, for example, have not yet been supplied by any state,” said Kühnert on RTL/ntv’s “Frühstart” program, adding: “But we do support the exchange of rings with our Eastern European partners.”

In addition, the statement continues to apply “that we do not want to be gradually drawn into the war, that we do not want to encourage Russia to act completely irrationally in the end and attack completely different states.” That is an important aspect of the dispute. And this aspect must always be considered – “with all hot hearts”.

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